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Defend by Design: Enhancing Your Organization’s Security Controls for the Future

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Adopting a layered security approach and defense-in-depth strategy is vital to protect organizations from evolving cyber threats. The Internet is now the network perimeter, requiring comprehensive security measures. Implementing advanced technologies and multi-layered controls such as firewalls, VPNs, and vulnerability scanning strengthens defenses. Regular evaluation, proactive measures, and embracing automation enhance security. Prioritizing resilience and continuous improvement is crucial in countering future threats. Protect your business and secure your future by choosing strength and comprehensive security measures.

As security professionals in a cat-and-mouse game, we rely on people, processes, and technology to secure and protect our organizations’ valuable data, assets, and employees from the ever-present threat of attack from cybercriminals and hackers. To stay one step ahead of these nefarious actors, organizations must adopt reliable and battle-tested secure by-design solutions optimally configured to detect and protect against their malicious activities to be able to defend by design.

As remote work has become more prevalent, traditional network defenses are insufficient. The reality is that these remote workers access and share data via cloud apps and work outside the traditional network perimeter – which introduces new attack risks.

As IT and security professionals will agree, the Internet has become the new network perimeter, and it must be defended in a new and comprehensive way, armed with the right tools and strategies to safeguard an organization’s future.

Is Your Business Prepared for Tomorrow’s Cybersecurity Threats and Attacks?

There are a few questions that form the foundation of a well-thought-out security program. One that deploys Layered security controls and employs a Defense in Depth approach to defend against cyber threats. These include:

  • What strategies and controls have you implemented to protect your network infrastructure?
  • Do you have policies to minimize the risk of insider threats and mitigate user error?
  • What security measures are in place to prevent a data breach, predict the behaviors of fraudsters, and keep malicious threat actors out?
  • Are your valued employees adequately trained to a professional standard in security awareness?

The Latest Cybersecurity Figures of 2023

A report from Packetlabs.net 2023 has seen a staggering number of cyberattacks, with an estimated 800,000 occurring annually. This disheartening statistic is expected to rise in the coming years.

Surprisingly, 97% of security breaches exploit vulnerabilities in WordPress plugins. It’s alarming to note that threat actors target businesses’ cybersecurity infrastructure every 39 seconds. The scale of the problem is further highlighted by the creation of around 300,000 new malware daily. This is a grave concern, as 92% of malware is delivered via email. In terms of response time, organizations are taking an average of 49 days to identify a cyberattack in 2023.

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As if these figures weren’t disconcerting enough, over 4.1 million websites on the Internet are infected with malware.

However, it is reassuring to learn that 66% of CIOs plan to increase their investment in cybersecurity defense, acknowledging the importance of protecting their businesses.

What Is a Layered Security?

A layered security approach is a methodology in which multiple layers of security tools are deployed and configured to address and defend against specific threats. Depending on the threat model and compliance requirements.

A layered security approach can be implemented in various ways, utilizing many different technologies and processes to defend against attack.

Layered Security Controls That You Can Implement to Enhance the Security of Your Organization

The security industry is undergoing a remarkable transformation as organizations across the globe awaken to the immense power of a multi-layered security approach. Suppose companies and organizations begin embracing cutting-edge technologies like automation, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and predictive analytics.

In that case, they can fortify their defenses against network security threats like never before. This innovative approach bolsters security and enables organizations to adapt swiftly and seamlessly to a rapidly evolving threat landscape.

What Is Defense in Depth?

Defense-in-depth is a cybersecurity strategy that protects systems by placing barriers throughout the network. Defense-in-depth architecture is based on controls designed to protect your network’s physical, technical, and administrative aspects. Physical controls include security measures that prevent physical access to IT systems, such as security guards or locked doors. Not surprisingly, high-security installations demand a defensive perimeter of an eight-foot fence and three strands of barbed wire intertwined across the top.

Technical controls include security measures that protect network systems or resources using specialized hardware or software, such as a firewall appliance or antivirus program.

Administrative controls are security measures consisting of policies or procedures directed at an organization’s employees. A security culture is developed by empowering employees with the tools and know-how to safeguard their organization. Sensitive information is labeled as “confidential,” fostering a sense of responsibility and guardianship in each individual.

Defense In-Depth Strategies That You Can Implement to Enhance the Security of Your Organization

Common Holes in Cybersecurity Strategies

  • The Discovery of viruses or malware takes far too long to remediate, as malicious code or legacy applications remain in the production environment;
  • Employees are falling victim to phishing tactics that open up the network to threats such as ransomware or business email compromise (BEC);
  • Systems are inadequately configured with default passwords and administrator accounts that remain open to hackers;
  • Automation processes are not in place to update security controls and resolve vulnerabilities;
  • Preventative measures are not implemented promptly to address threats actively targeting specific systems;
  • Compliance is lagging behind new threats and thus leaves the network vulnerable to breaches;
  • Log management could be more effective at identifying new threats and trends in network activity;
  • Known flaws are not being patched, and updates are ignored for a considerable time;
  • Security policies should be enforced and well-known by employees and users;
  • Physical security flaws – broken controls, tailgating;
  • Business partners or supply chains are not always entirely secure.

Remember, any defense-in-depth strategy has three core parts: physical, technical, and administrative controls.

The Benefits of Deploying Layered Security and a Defense in Depth Strategy

Now that you understand what Layered Security and Defense in Depth mean, in the end, it’s all about identifying what you have in place today and then building on that to strengthen your defenses and taking into account the threat landscape that may apply to your business sector.

Remember that your organization needs to be able to defend against a multi-pronged attack in any twenty-four-hour period.

The Bottom Line

Start with evaluating the effectiveness of your current security controls, identifying gaps and vulnerabilities, and architecting your defenses to mitigate risks and threats. As the shifting sands of the threat landscape change, you must plan for new security measures to adapt to this changing landscape.

Unfortunately, it is never a one-time, set-and-forget implementation; you must monitor and seek out where the cracks in your defenses exist.

Embrace the power of advanced technologies and the expertise of cybersecurity professionals. The time to act is now. Tomorrow’s cybersecurity threats and attacks are looming on the horizon. Will you be prepared? Choose strength, resilience, and security.

Your business and your future depend on it.

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John Meah

John is a skilled freelance writer who combines his writing talent with his cybersecurity expertise. He holds an equivalent level 7 master's degree in cybersecurity and a number of prestigious industry certifications, such as PCIP, CISSP, MCIIS, and CCSK. He has spent over two decades working in IT and information security within the finance and logistics business sectors. This experience has given John a profound understanding of cybersecurity practices, making his tech coverage on Techopedia particularly insightful and valuable. He has honed his writing skills through courses from renowned institutions like the Guardian and Writers Bureau UK.